Femme et clown playfully exemplifies the artist’s treatment of the erotic and bizarre. In the later years of his life Picasso reintroduces the clown of his youth alongside a figure resembling, and embracing the role, of the eternal feminine. His drawings are an endless reimagining of scenarios between the painter and his model. Her expression is one of amusement for whilst she indulges the artist she cannot take him seriously.
The clown depicted in Femme et clown evokes Picasso’s early works - in particular the saltimbanques of his Rose period - which were frequented with the circus and clowns, signalling a move towards a thematically and stylistically more optimistic period and a departure from the more sombre hues of his earlier Blue Period.
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